John Pilger on the Urgency to Free Assange

Once Julian Assange is extradited to the U.S., he’ll be in the black hole prison system and will never be heard from again. From John Pilger at consortiumnews.com:

In an interview, the renowned Australian investigative journalist warns that the U.S. is close to getting its hands on the the courageous WikiLeaks publisher.

Julian Assange at an antiwar rally in London, Oct. 8, 2011. (Haydn, Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

In an interview with the World Socialist Web Site, renowned Australian investigative journalist John Pilger warns that the “U.S. is close to getting its hands on” the courageous WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange.

Last month, British Home Secretary Priti Patel approved Assange’s extradition to the U.S., where he faces 175 years imprisonment under the Espionage Act for publishing true information exposing American war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.

As Pilger explains, Patel’s order will be the subject of a further appeal, but the British judiciary that will adjudicate has facilitated Assange’s persecution every step of the way. This underscores the urgency of a political fight to free Assange, based on the powerful struggles of the working class that are emerging all around the world.

Pilger began his media career in the late 1950s. His first documentary, The Quiet Mutiny, exposed aspects of the U.S. war in Vietnam in 1970. Since then, Pilger has produced more than 50 documentaries, many of them feature-length and centering on revealing the crimes of the major imperialist powers.

In a 2012 Rolling Stone interview, Assange was asked: “Who has been your most critical public supporter?” He replied: “John Pilger, the Australian journalist, has been the most impressive.”

Pilger has been unwavering in his defence of the WikiLeaks publisher. In 2018 and 2019, he addressed Socialist Equality Party rallies, demanding that the Australian government use its diplomatic and legal powers to free Assange.

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